When you hear the title of comedian Jen Kirkman’s latest special, I’m Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine), you assume she has a pretty strong grasp on the direction in which her life is heading. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
“People’s lives will always change, just like mine has,” she says. “I knew by the time this special came out that things could be different. That’s why I don’t want people to get too attached to me speaking in a very specific way.”
While Kirkman’s special gets heavy-handed on the topic of people feeling like they need to be coupled, her no-bullshit, tell-it-like-it-is attitude shines through on any topic, whether it’s casual sex or dudes who don’t know what a lime is. Much like her previous two albums, as well as her amazing I Seem Fun podcast, the Netflix special reminds you why, quite frankly, no other comedian can touch her in turning life’s speed bumps into rallying cries.
“I’ve never tried to appeal to everyone, or anyone specific really,” she says. “That’s why I’ll never be famous.”
Since the special was released this past May, Kirkman’s star began to burn brighter than ever before. With late-night TV appearances (if you haven’t seen her Conan appearance, check it below), a massive new tour, and a new book scheduled for April of next year (“The great thing about the book is that I don’t have to keep people amused like I do with standup”), it seems it would be safe to say that the woman who first gained notoriety as a regular round table panelist on Chelsea Lately has made that next step. Still, she’s not ready to rest on her reputation.
“This new tour is probably 90 percent new material,” she says. “It’s interesting because in the past, if people came and saw you in clubs, they would be upset if you did the same jokes as the last time. But now, some people come to shows expecting to hear jokes they saw on the special. I get that, but the great thing about comedy is that it allows you to keep people updated about where your life is at in that moment. Comedy is the place where grown-ups get to be grown-ups.”
But just because she’s not committing to the same material as her special doesn’t mean that Kirkman’s feelings about being on her own aren’t legit.
“Everyone has experienced being alone,” she says. “And it’s different for everyone. You can be single, you could be a slut, you could be celibate; being alone is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s not about me setting out to be alone; it’s just being prepared that you might not get exactly what you thought you would out of life.”
IF YOU GO:
Cedar Cultural Center
Wednesday, July 8
7:30 p.m., $16. All ages.